by Jon Riches
May 25, 2019
Those entering the U.S. Armed Forces agree to a Code of Conduct governing how military members should act during combat or if captured by an enemy force. The first article of the Code is both simple and solemn: “I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.”
All American servicemembers make this pledge, but in our 243 year history, only a relative few have made the ultimate and final sacrifice.
This Memorial Day we remember it is only through that sacrifice that the world saw born for the first time in human history a nation conceived in liberty and dedicate to the principle that we are all created equal. It is through that sacrifice that Americans have asserted – time and again – that their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inherent, that no government grants these rights, and no government can justly take them away. And from Yorktown to Gettysburg to the beaches of Normandy, the jungles of Vietnam, the mountains of Afghanistan, and the deserts of Iraq, men and women have fallen for the last time to ensure that a nation born in freedom will endure.
To those who paid the ultimate price in service to our country, we remember you.
Jon Riches is the Director of National Litigation. He was recently selected to the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.